Diedra "Dede" Cowgur Stewart ’92

Diedra Cowgur Stewart ’92/MSN ’09



Diedra (Dede) Cowgur Stewart, MSN, RN, CNL graduated from Millikin University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and began her nursing career at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill., in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She served as a staff nurse, charge nurse and transport nurse before accepting her current position as assistant nurse manager of the NICU. 

In 2008, Dede returned to Millikin to obtain her master’s degree in nursing-clinical nurse leader (CNL), graduating in 2009. She then earned national certification as a CNL and was the first CNL to practice at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Dede has been a preceptor to numerous students in Millikin’s MSN-CNL program and has served as an adjunct professor of pediatrics at MU.

Dede currently serves as the assistant nurse manager of St. John’s NICU. She is the coordinator for the NICU specialty transport team, a neonatal resuscitation provider instructor, a certified lactation counselor, and serves on many unit, hospital and state committees focusing on special care of the neonate. Her passion is quality improvement and evidence-based practice. She is active in quality improvement projects in the NICU and has been a part of numerous teams that have implemented new evidence-based initiatives in the NICU. 

Dede enjoys spending time with her husband John and children Emma, William, and Paige. She is active in her community and currently serves as the treasurer of the high school Booster Club. Dede is an active supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network and enjoys volunteering at local events for CMN and the NICU.